Edelmira Corona, Final Player in Bizarre Family Murder Plot, Lucky to Get 14 Years in Prison
The only one of six defendants who did not receive either the death penalty or life in state prison without the possibility of parole, Corona was presumably rewarded for testifying against her co-conspirators. But some members of the dead victim's family have said they believe Corona orchestrated the hit and had Perna to take the fall.
|David Montemayor, R.I.P.|
This much no one disputes: three members of the Pacoima Flats street gang have received the death penalty for the murder of 44-year-old Montemayor, so far the only Orange County case that spawned three Death Row inmates. In the early morning hours of Oct. 2, 2002, Armando Macias, Gerardo Lopez and Alberto Martinez kidnapped Montemayor at gunpoint from Interfreight Transport Inc., the Rancho Dominguez business that he managed and was started by his father, who was in the process of retiring.
|Deborah Perna: patsy?|
Macias, Lopez and Martinez then drove off but were chased by law enforcement in what became a televised, 30-minute police chase during rush hour over surface streets and freeways. A police car finally rammed their vehicle into a utility pole. One suspect who jumped out and started to run was shot in the shoulder by a cop.
As the trio was arrested, one gunman was discovered to be carrying a note listing Montemayor's home address and phone number. Detectives later traced it back to 55-year-old Perna of Anaheim. The case prosecutors would go on to lay out had Perna, Interfreight Transport's office manager, plotting to bump off her brother because she was incensed her father chose Montemayor to run the company. She would get her 34-year-old co-worker Corona to contact a gang member she knew, Anthony "Droopy" Navarro, the Pacoima Flats shot caller and, supposedly, an FBI, ATF and LAPD snitch. Droopy arranged the hit that would have the killers paid with more than $50,000 Perna wrongly believed her brother kept in coffee cans in his garage.
Navarro, 45, of Canyon Country, hired Macias, Martinez and Lopez, who was 17 at the time, to carry out the deed. In another bizarre twist to an already bizarre case: Macias stabbed Droopy 10 times with a makeshift knife in a Fullerton courthouse holding cell on Dec. 28, 2002.